Budget Breakdown: These Transitional Homes For At-Risk Clients Cost Less Than $200K
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Budget Breakdown: These Transitional Homes For At-Risk Clients Cost Less Than $200K

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By Lucy Wang
Florida firm Process Architecture’s series of modern, affordable, low-maintenance homes help HIV/AIDS clients and LGBT homeless youth get back on their feet.

Orlando–based design firm Process Architecture is making a case for the healing properties of architecture—for less than $200,000 per house.

Cost of Construction
$19,330
Concrete
$9,550
Masonry
$1,500
Metals
$9,222
Framing
$15,225
Millwork & Carpentry
$1,385
Wood Trusses
$2,502
Wood Rainscreen
$2,840
Insulation
$4,470
Roof
$1,458
Soffit
$16,914
Windows, Doors & Hardware
$7,872
Stucco
$10,990
Drywall & Framing
$9,275
Flooring & Tile
$7,450
Paint
$6,940
Plumbing
$2,717
Roller Shades
$7,898
HVAC
$11,629
Electrical


Grand Total: $149,167
General Contractor Costs
$33,632
General Conditions
$23,026
Overhead & Profit
$11,600
Labor Burden
Grand Total: $68,258

Tapped by Aspire Health Partners, Florida’s largest behavioral health nonprofit, the firm designed and built affordable transitional housing to serve high-risk HIV/AIDS individuals and LGBT homeless youth.

The exterior of the Aspire House is built of concrete blocks with a Portland cement plaster (stucco) finish.

The exterior of the Aspire House is built of concrete blocks with a Portland cement plaster (stucco) finish.

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The new homes complement the existing residential scale in this downtown Orlando neighborhood.

The new homes complement the existing residential scale in this downtown Orlando neighborhood.

"This new affordable housing model is not only functional, but also serves to satisfy both psychological and aesthetic purposes for individuals pursuing drug-free, productive lives," explain the architects of the prototype that has been nicknamed the Aspire House and funded through the HUD program HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV-AIDS). 

The "public" half of the house is bookended by two covered porches, one in the front and the other in the rear.

The "public" half of the house is bookended by two covered porches, one in the front and the other in the rear.

The open-plan living area is laid with Armstrong 12 x 24 LVT tile flooring.

The open-plan living area is laid with Armstrong 12 x 24 LVT tile flooring.

Four Aspire Houses have been completed to date, each spanning 1,260 square feet with three-bedroom, two-bath floor plans. Design and construction costs average $186,000 per home, or approximately $134 per square foot.

The kitchen features a Trinity Tile backsplash as well as Formica plastic laminate counters and cabinets.

The kitchen features a Trinity Tile backsplash as well as Formica plastic laminate counters and cabinets.

The custom-designed homes not only needed to meet requirements for low maintenance and accessibility, but also had to stylistically blend into the existing neighborhood, which mainly comprises older homes. 

Drawing inspiration from the traditional vernacular, Process Architecture designed a contemporary reinterpretation of the shotgun house, a southern housing typology where the front and rear doors are aligned with no interior hallway.

"Dramatically angled, clerestory windows above the front and rear doors provide views of the changing sky and let light enter at all times of the day," note the architects.

"Dramatically angled, clerestory windows above the front and rear doors provide views of the changing sky and let light enter at all times of the day," note the architects.

The utility, air handler, as well as the washer and dryer units are neatly stored away in the back of the home.

The utility, air handler, as well as the washer and dryer units are neatly stored away in the back of the home.

Tall ceilings and ample glazing establish a connection with the outdoors and give the modern home a bright and airy feel conducive to healthier lifestyles and drug rehabilitation.

High-performance windows let in plenty of natural light while air conditioning keeps the home cool.

High-performance windows let in plenty of natural light while air conditioning keeps the home cool.

"The homes could be sold out of the program in the future if necessary," adds Process Architecture of the fully accessible houses. 

"On the private market, the house can function as a compact, family home…[and] as straightforward, modern, affordable, starter homes for first-time homeowners or even scaled-down living for seniors. The Aspire House was designed as a sellable residential design relevant to a broad demographic." 

A look at one of the three bedrooms.

A look at one of the three bedrooms.

One of the two bathrooms is ADA-compliant and features Trinity Tile Cement Tech 12x24 tiles and Formica plastic laminate counters.

One of the two bathrooms is ADA-compliant and features Trinity Tile Cement Tech 12x24 tiles and Formica plastic laminate counters.

Aspire House floor plan. The public and private zones are evenly split in the home.

Aspire House floor plan. The public and private zones are evenly split in the home.

The front and rear doors are aligned and both open up to covered porches.

The front and rear doors are aligned and both open up to covered porches.

Two of the prototype homes share a garden.

Two of the prototype homes share a garden.


Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Process Architecture, Fielding Featherston, AIA

Builder/General Contractor: R.C. Stevens Construction

Structural Engineer: William F. Stuhrkey, PhD, PE

Civil Engineer: B&S Engineering (now Appian Engineering)

Interior Design: Process Architecture

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